Russell ridicules gossip he is to be ousted for Perez at Williams in 2021
George Russell has insisted he has “no reasons to be concerned” about his position at Williams despite recent speculation suggesting he could be ousted in favour of Sergio Perez.
Russell and Canadian team-mate Nicolas Latiffi both signed with the team for 2021 prior to its sale earlier this year, but recent speculation has suggested new owners Dorilton Capital may be looking to bring in a pay driver.
Questions over the rumours surfaced ahead of this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix, but a defiant Russell said: “I have a contract for next year. Nothing has changed whatsoever from my contractual perspective under the new ownership.
“I’ve not spoken to the new owners about it because from my side there are no concerns. They will all be here this weekend. I’m sure any air will be cleared but I am not concerned."
Russel has stated he will seek assurances from long-term backers Mercedes should he have any cause to suddenly feel worried about his future.
“I’m in contact with the guys at Mercedes weekly, we’re always staying in touch. I feel privileged to have them behind me," added Russell.
“I guess in the coming weeks if there were to be any reasons to worry… If it really comes to that, obviously I will be speaking to them, but right here, right now I have no reasons to be concerned. “
Latifi, who brings funding to the team, also moved to confirm his position. He said: “Like George said, we have a contract. I am confident I will have a contract here next year and that I’m going to be on the grid next year.”
With Haas announcing it is to release Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen at the end of the year, and with the likes of Perez and Nico Hülkenberg also available, Russell is aware there is a large pool of experienced drivers currently on the market.
But he reiterated his belief in his Williams' future following the recent takeover, adding: “There are so many great divers who are available fighting for a place on the grid right now. Ultimately, it’s in the driver’s hands to go out there and prove what he can do.
“The financial worries that may have been around the team in years gone by are no longer there. With the new investment and new owners around, it is really exciting. I’ve seen glimpses of what they’re doing.
“The direction we’re heading is a really exciting time, not only for them but also for me - to have gone through the struggles of the past 18 months and to be part of the journey, into 2021 to hopefully propel the team into a midfield battle.”
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